“Macy’s sending customers to Gimbels! I just don’t get it!”

One of my business partners has an interesting take on customer service, which is one of the reasons I went into business with him. His take is nothing new–he and I both got it from “Miracle on 34th Street”. The idea is this: When you enter my store, my job is to help you get what you want, even if it means sending you somewhere else to get it.

And he means it. If we don’t have it, he’ll get on the phone or the internet and check with our competitors to see if they have it. If they do, he’ll refer the customer there. A majority of the time they do go elsewhere, though seldom without insisting that they’ll do all their shopping with us in the future.

"I don't get it! I just don't get it! Macy's sending people to Gimbels!"

But even more interesting are the customers who, knowing they can get what they’re looking for that very day, will nevertheless special-order it through us, even if it costs a little more. That is the power of customer service. Few things build customer loyalty faster than proving that they are more important to you than their money.

Have you had similar experiences with businesses you’ve encountered? How did you respond? Or do you think we’re naive? Drop a comment below.

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